User guide for the EcoActuary Policy Support System 

Documentation written by: 

Mark Mulligan

Citation:

Mulligan, M. [year]  User guide for the EcoActuary Policy Support System [version]. Available online.

This is a user guide to the EcoActuary PSS in the ecoengine framework.  Example images may be from EcoActuary or other ecoengine systems (eg WaterWorld) but the guide focuses on functionality available to EcoActuary.


King's College London and AmbioTEK CIC provide these systems without warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  We shall not be made liable for any consequential, incidental, indirect, special, punitive or exemplary damages resulting from the use of this software.




EcoActuary is a web based tool for analysing

Models are learning tools which can provide guidance if their results are appropriately supported by experience and observations.  Look at the results of these models carefully and use them to better understand the outcomes of your baseline or intervention rather than as a numerical prediction of the present or future.  Read and understand the model descriptions carefully to be able to better interpret the behaviour of the model in response to spatial variability of input data, scenarios or policy options.  If in doubt ask us.

You can see a powerpoint presentation on the system here 


Index

User guide for the EcoActuary Policy Support System

Disclaimer

Commercial use

Fair Use

Citation and redistribution

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION QUICK START GUIDE

THEORY, the video links below describe the theory behind these systems:

PRACTICE, the video  links below describe the steps required for use:

Ecoengine Functions by step (links to video demonstrations)

Step 1: Define area

Step 2: Prepare Data

Step 3: Start simulation

Manage Simulations

Step 4: Policy exercises

Step 5: Results maps

Step 6: Results stats

Step 7: Results narrative

Questions and Answers

GUIDANCE FOR PRE- and POST- PROCESSING OF DATA

Creating a Zone of Interest (ZOI) map from a  shapefile using SAGAGIS (by Mark Mulligan)

Combining tiles and clipping them to a shapefile in SAGAGIS (by Mark Mulligan)

Cutting and resampling your gridded data so that it is compatible with the PSS and ready for upload in SAGAGIS (by Mark Mulligan)



Disclaimer

No warranty or liability The developers of Co$tingNature provides this system and data without any warranty of any kind whatsoever, either express or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The developers shall not be liable for incidental, consequential, or special damages arising out of the use of the system or of any data downloaded.  For the period that this system is is in beta please be aware that functionality can break and results can be incorrect - check them carefully and report any errors using the Beta, report problem link.


Commercial use


This tool uses datasets from suppliers who make these available for non-commercial use only  (e.g. the WDPA, IBA and EBA datasets).  This means that these datasets cannot be used if your project is a commercial one.  Most definitions of 'commercial use' include a) any use for profit or to generate revenue, or b) any use by an individual or entity operating within or on behalf of or to the benefit of or to assist the activities of any entity other than a not-for-profit organisation.  

If you need to use the tool for commercial use and do not have license to then you must license and use the commercial-use version, which excludes these datasets.


Fair Use

Each registered user can run one simulation concurrently.  Please do not open multiple accounts and tie up our servers running multiple runs simultaneously.  If you make significant and prolonged use of this system in your organisations operations you should consider funding a server to improve the service provided to all users.  Each user can store 3 simulations on our servers (since each simulation takes 5GB of space).  Please delete simulations once you have finished downloading results from them.


Citation and redistribution

A lot time and effort has gone into producing this PSS and making it freely available.  Please cite the source of any results, data, images etc that you use from this system as Mulligan, M [year] Results from the EcoActuary Policy Support System [version number]. http://www.policysupport.org/links/EcoActuary  Kings College London also request reprints of any publications.

EcoActuary is frequently updated so please do not redistribute datasets that you have taken from EcoActuary that would invariably be out of date very soon, but rather point interested users to EcoActuary so that they can generate those datasets anew.  If you wish to redistirbute WaterWorld data for any reason , please contact us.  Users are prohibited from any commercial, non-free resale, or redistribution.


VIDEO DEMONSTRATION QUICK START GUIDE

THEORY, the video links below describe the theory behind these systems:

   

EcoActuary - Aim (0h25m40s)

    What EcoActuary does (0h27m30s)

    Summary of EcoActuary outputs (0h29m1s)

PRACTICE, the video  links below describe the steps required for use:

Logging in and choosing the interface: Scientist and Licensed User, creating accounts (0h38m24s)

Step 1 Define area (0m19s)

Step 2 Prepare data (2m16s)

Step 3 Start simulation (4m56s)

Step 5 Results maps list (7m7s)

Step 4 Policy exercises (scenarios/policy options, valuatiion) (18m32s)

Accessing the model and system documentation (19m31s)



Ecoengine Functions by step (links to video demonstrations)

This section describes the generic functionality of the ecoengine framework and how to use it.

Step 1: Define area

Step 1 Define area (0m40s)

Step 2: Prepare Data

Use alternative SIMTERRA input maps (0h0m40s)

Masking data (1h23m56s)

Masking an area by a region of interest (ROI) (2m28s)

Mask by Watersheds of points (0h58m15s)

Investigating input maps - show workspace data (6m33s)

Examining the input data, for example Landsat 2000 Treecover (1h27m14s)

Step 3: Start simulation

Write monthly output maps option (7m44s)

Manage Simulations

Selecting previous runs and managing simulations (8m45s)

Deleting old simulations to free up space (1h20m55s)

Looking at a previously saved run. Looking at monthly impacts (1h55m31s)

Step 4: Policy exercises

Climate Change scenarios(1h14m53s)

Land Cover and Land Use Change (1h20m57s)

Run land use change model (including multiple deforestation monitoring products and management effectiveness) (0h6m55s)

Land and Water Management options (1h53m18s)

Land and Water Management, bench terraces, scenario by uploading your own maps (1h27m27s)

Extractive Scenarios for mining concessions and Oil and Gas. (1h29m15s)

Population growth and urbanisation scenarios (1h29m54s)

Change input maps (1h54m10s), Replace input maps (1h28m7s)

Show baseline and scenario, List alternative workspace data and compare to baseline (1h17m9s)

Run land use change model - deforestation (0h0m0s)

Run progressive deforestation scenarios (0h7m38s)

Compare alternatives (compares baseline and multiple alternatives for a given map) 

Step 5: Results maps

Results list (1h40m8s)

The map view window (7m26s)

Examining water balance (10m37s)

Examining water quality (11m5s)

Examining runoff (11m54s)

Viewing in Google maps/Earth (8m50s)

Query input components for a map at a point (12m40s)

Examining change from the baseline (2h2m57s)

Examining monthly maps, view and download (1h5m50s)

Citation information (1h39m5s)

Permalink for export of (google) maps (1h48m29s)

Analyse map - scatterplot and stats (1h49m39s)

POIs ROIs and ZOIs (1h11m10s)

Regions of interest (copy/paste points of interest and show on output maps) (0h18m30s)

Create ZOI with bounding box (0h0m0s)

Step 6: Results stats

Results time series (1h51m41s)

Step 7: Results narrative

Results narrative (1h52m31s)

Questions and Answers

Running the model over multiple tiles and combining using ArcMap and ArcHydro or SagaGIS (1h32m36s)

Run times in new areas (1h38m43s)

Free version and licensed features (1h36m15s)



GUIDANCE FOR PRE- and POST- PROCESSING OF DATA

Creating a Zone of Interest (ZOI) map from a  shapefile using SAGAGIS (by Mark Mulligan)

- Download and install the free and open source SAGAGIS GIS (if you do not already have it).

- Download any of the available input or output maps in ARCASCII format to use as a template and unzip it.

- Use your file manager to pick up the ARCASCII file and drop it into the SAGAGIS window.

- Ensure that your shapefile is in the Geographical Coordinate System (GCS, latitude longitude) and uses a WGS84 DATUM (Use Modules > Projection - Proj.4 > Coordinate Transformation (Shapes) to reproject if necessary)

- Use your file manager to pick up the file with .shp extension in your polygon shapefile and drop it into the SAGAGIS window

- Check that the grid and the shapefile overlap by double clicking the name of the grid under the  tab and choosing to display in a new window.  Then go back to the  tab and double click the name of the shapefile and choose to display in the window named as your grid is.  Does the shapefile overlay the grid?  If not then you may need to run another tile in the PSS or check that the shapefile is really in The geographic coordinate system (GCS) and WGS84 datum.

- In SAGAGIS from choose the Grid-gridding collection and double click the Shapes to Grid module.

- Under Shapes choose the name of your loaded shapefile

- Under attribute choose the field that will be used (choose any since we will convert the grid to zero (outside)  and 1 (inside) the area of interest

- Under Preferred target grid type choose integer (1 byte)

- Under Target grid choose the grid that you have loaded (to do this choose grid here and you will be asked to define the grid system in the next step)

- Click Okay. In the next window, you will be asked to choose the Grid system, so, choose the only one available, which is the system of the grid you loaded and to which the shapefile must be converted.

- Under Number of Values choose [create], and then click Okay.

- Now go to the tab and double click in the new grid with the [Count] tag, which will be named the same as your shapefile.  Choose New to display in new map.  You should see your shapefile shape as a grid with values of 1 where the area of interest is, and 0 elsewhere (it may be clipped to the edge of the tile if it extends beyond it).  This will now be used to set your ZOI in the PSS. If you see a blank map then either your shapefile is not a polygon or it is in a different coordinate system to the GCS, WGS84 of the grid.  Fix it and try again.

If your shapefile has small polygons which are lost on conversion to grid cells then you need to download the latest version of SAGAGIS (at least 2.1.1 here) and when using Shapes to Grid choose output values as data/no-data, polygon should be set to cell and fit to cells  should be ticked.  Note that you will not need to install SAGAGIS, just download the zip file, extract it and run the file called SAGA_GUI.exe.

- You now need to save the map as a zipped ARCASCII to include it in the PSS. Go back to  and choose Import/Export - Grids and then double-click Export ESRI ARC/Info Grid.  

- Under grid system choose your only available grid system.  

- Under grid choose the name of the grid that you created with the the [Count] tag at the end.  

- Under file choose a folder and file. Make sure to include the .asc extension. Click Okay and the file will be written.

- Under ASCII Precision choose 0.  

- In your file manager (e.g. Windows Explorer) find the .asc file and zip it, giving the .zip file the same name as the .asc file.  This can now be used to set a ZOI using upload ZOI in the PSS.


Combining tiles and clipping them to a shapefile in SAGAGIS (by Mark Mulligan)

If your study area covers more than one PSS tile you may need to combine tiles and then clip them to an area of interest such as a watershed

Download and install the free and open source SAGAGIS GIS (if you do not already have it).

Download any of the available input or output maps in ARCASCII format and unzip them.

Use your file manager to pick up the ARCASCII file and drop it into the SAGAGIS window.

Ensure that your shapefile is in the Geographical Coordinate System (GCS, latitude longitude) and uses a WGS84 DATUM

Use your file manager to pick up the file with .shp extension in your polygon shapefile and drop it into the SAGAGIS window

In SAGAGIS from choose the Grid-Merging.  Choose the grids to merge.  Under “target-grid” give a name to the grid that you wish to create from the merged grids.  Click Okay.  The grids will load and merge.  Now go to the tab and double click the new grid and choose New to view it and check that it is Ok.  

To clip the grid, from the  tab choose Shapes-Grid, Clip grid with Polygon.  Choose the grid system of your merged grid (it will be the one with the most rows and columns.  Under Input choose the name of the merged grid.  Under Polygons choose the name of the shapefile.  Click Okay and your merged grid will be cut to the polygon shapefile.

You must now export this merged, clipped grid.  Under  choose the Import/Export - Grids and double-click Export ESRI Arc/Info Grid.  Choose the grid system of your merged grid.  If you are unsure go to the  tab and right click the grids that you no longer need and choose close to close them and remove their grid systems from view.  Choose the grid to be exported.  Under File choose a location to save the exported ARCASCII file and click Okay.  The merged, clipped grid will be saved.


Cutting and resampling your gridded data so that it is compatible with the PSS and ready for upload in SAGAGIS (by Mark Mulligan)

If your gridded data are not the same cellsize or extent as those in the tile that you are running in the PSS, so long as your data are in the same coordinate system (GCS WGS84) and cover the tile area, you can use SAGAGIS to resample them so they can be uploaded.  

- Download and install the free and open source SAGAGIS GIS (if you do not already have it).

- Download any one of the PSS input or output maps that you will use as a template map and unzip the ARCASCII

- Use your file manager to pick up the ARCASCII file and drop it into the SAGAGIS window.

-Open your own gridded dataset in SAGAGIS by drag and drop or using the import functions

- From the  tab choose Grid-Tools, Resampling

- In the dialogue that appears, for GRID, choose the grid system and grid for  your data grid that you want to resample

- For PRESERVE DATA TYPE, uncheck the box

- For TARGET GRID, choose GRID (which means we will name a grid later). Click OK and this window closes.

- A choose grid window then opens.  Here choose the grid system for the template grid downloaded from the PSS.  For grid choose create as we will build a new grid for the output resampled data. Click Okay.  If your grids do not overlap at all then SAGAGIS will not ask any more questions and will not be able to produce useful output (you may see a blue grid but it will be of no use).  

If your data do overlap,  a new window opens in which you need to specify the resampling method. For continuous data, f there are no no-data areas, then use BICUBIC SPLINE INTERPOLATION.  If there are some no-data areas if you are resampling to a grid cell size that is very close to the original size, then choose NEAREST NEIGHBOUR to avoid the creation of false cell values in no-data areas.  If you are resampling to a radically different cell size, then use an interpolation method like BICUBIC SPLINE INTERPOLATION.  If the data are a classified map (discrete data) such as land use then choose Majority as we want to retain the same classes.  Click Okay.

- You will now see a resampled new map under the grid system associated with the map that you downloaded from the PSS.  It should be a square tile with the same footprint as the PSS tile that you downloaded.

If your original data are higher spatial resolution than the PSS template and this process leads to loss of features then instead of using interpolation choose Maximum value as the interpolation method.

You must now export this resampled, clipped grid.  Under  choose the Import/Export - Grids and double-click Export ESRI Arc/Info Grid.  Choose the grid system of your merged grid.  If you are unsure go to the  tab and right click the grids that you no longer need and choose close to close them and remove their grid systems from view.  Choose the grid to be exported.  Under File choose a location to save the exported ARCASCII file and click Okay.  The merged, clipped grid will be saved.


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